Merry Christmas from the DLD crew! This week we’re talking fuel hedges, hotel buyouts and just how compelling mega bonus miles can be. Plus, we’ve got a special guest, David Huberman, on the show. David is arguably the epitome of the high value flyer airline companies are looking for; this year his airfare spend was over $100k. Clearly that’s a very different approach to the industry that any of the rest of us take and I think the conversation we had bears that out.
Major topics in this episode:
- IHG is buying Kimpton: What happens to the brand?
- American Airlines & US Airways are changing upgrade reciprocity behavior for top tier elites. Will that solve the problems Fozz reported last episode?
- Alaska Airlines is running a big promo, so long as you live in their back yard. We talk about the value in that approach.
- American Airlines also introduced big new bonuses for premium fares. Is this enough to drive a premium customer to change loyalties? David chimes in on this bit a lot.
Lots of other bits, too.
Enjoy the show!
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With the huge mileage bonuses on premium cabin tickets and the squeeze on economy earnings will the airlines start releasing more business and first class award seats (I don’t see a business class traveller booking economy awards)?
Lots of business travelers book economy awards, particularly domestic, so I don’t expect to see any changes on that front. And there’s nothing to compel release of more biz seats longhaul, really. Arguably the airlines could release fewer as the people more likely to splurge on them have more miles to do so with so the “rule-buster” awards are more affordable at the top.